BIG Ideas, BIG Plans, and BIG Goals

Failure is Your Surest Way Forward

I was the kid who never got anything right.

I knocked stuff over everywhere I went. I lost things. I had great big ideas that failed on execution.

You know the kid whose bumper car never left the corner? The one who just spun in place - stuck doing private little loops, never bumping anything but the wall? That was me.

When my father (truly THE most loving and patient man on the planet) was teaching me to drive, he slammed both fists on the dashboard and screamed, "WENDY, you are going to have to try very, VERY HARD in life because nothing, I mean NOTHING, comes naturally to you!!!"

And so it goes.

I’m 51 years old. I’ve built successful businesses, have a beautiful family that I adore, and do work that lights me up helping people change their lives every day. And I’m still that awkward, fish-out-of-water kid. Most of my big ideas still fail outright on execution.

And don’t even get me started on bumper cars.

The difference?

I don’t feel like that awkward kid anymore. In fact, I feel grateful. Being that kid for fifty-one years has taught me a lot. And the most important thing I learned?

Three left turns will make a right.

As long as I kept going, I was never lost. I was merely on my way. As long as I kept trying, I never failed.

Sure, my ideas fail, my plans fail, stuff I try fails all the time – but I never do.

I am always on my way forward.

And along the way? I’ve seen, done, and gotten some incredible things, and most of them were never on my original path.

I never would have found them if I hadn’t taken so many left turns.

More importantly, I never would have even noticed those incredible things if I had been too busy thinking about the past (and what had gone wrong with my big failed idea) or worrying about the future (and how I was going to force my original plan to work).

Every amazing opportunity exists only in the present moment.

So, go ahead and make your plans this week, they’re going to lead you somewhere. Try and fail. Try and succeed. Try new things and tweak old things to try them again.

And all along your way, keep your eyes wide open to see what’s right in front of you.

This Week:
Staying in the Present When You’re Working on Your Future

Living in the present moment doesn’t mean you don’t evaluate the past or plan for the future.

It means that

  • when you’re evaluating or planning, that’s your present moment and focus

  • when you’re executing, that’s your present moment and focus

  • when you're having a conversation….you get the drill.

When we’re doing one thing and thinking about another, we are blind to what’s right in front of us.

Try this:

  1. Each morning, before you even get out of bed, set the intention to NOTICE your thoughts. (Most of the pesky thoughts that drag you out of the present moment are so ingrained in you that they happen below your awareness.)

    For example: Running your mind through a to-do list while you’re speaking with a colleague or worrying about money while you’re working on a project.

  2. When you notice that you’re thinking about anything other than what’s right in front of you, PAUSE.

    What is the distracting thought?
    If it’s urgent, give it your full attention.
    If it's important but not urgent - jot it down to address it later.

    Realize that most of your distracting thoughts are going to be just noise – rumination, worry, etc. Name those as a distraction (without judging yourself) each time they come up and bring your full attention back to what’s in front of you.

  3. TRAIN your brain to focus on the present. About once an hour, stop what you’re doing and take a deep breath.

    For the next 30 seconds or so, focus your full attention on your breath. Notice everything about it.

    ● How the air feels in your nostrils.
    ● The way your body lengthens and expands on a deep inhale.
    ● How your muscles relax, melting into their natural state as you exhale

    If your mind wanders away from your breath, no worries. Simply notice it without judgment and focus your next thought back on your breath.

    When you’ve completed about 10 breaths, note the way you feel and then bring your attention right back to whatever is right in front of you.

Click here to let me know how you’re doing!